Going on holiday abroad this year? Why not check out these water safety tips?

Sadly each year UK residents taking their holiday abroad die through drowning, mainly adults and children.  The Safer Tourism Foundation in 2018 (charity dedicated to preventing accidents, injury and illness for holiday makers travelling abroad) indicated that more than 25 people have drowned in holiday pools in the last two years).

The Royal Lifesaving Society have indicated that 700 people die each year through drowning in the UK and Republic of Ireland and many more suffer injury, some life-changing, through non-fatal drowning experiences.  More people die from drowning in the UK and Ireland than from domestic fires or cycling accidents.

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Having some knowledge of how to stay safe in and around water and an appreciation of the hazards, can help to significantly reduce the number of deaths each year and increase enjoyment. 

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) have come up with these 11 Water Safety Holiday Top Tips:

1.  When researching your holiday, or arriving at the destination if you haven’t yet done so, check the safety arrangements of any water-based activities and if there is lifeguard cover at the pool/beach

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2.  Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs – find out what local warning signs and flags mean

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3.  Make sure the whole family can swim.  Swim with any children in your care – it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe

4.  Never swim alone and follow the pool rules

5. Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools

6.  Never enter the water after drinking alcohol

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7.  On beaches check when the tide will be high and low and make sure that you won’t be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide. Also be aware of dangerous rip-currents

8.  Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – each year there are drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water

9.   Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral

10.  Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore

RNLILifejacketclinic communitysafety RNLICommunitySafety Lifeboats, Seasafety WaterSafety11. Wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device and any other safety equipment if you are taking part in any water related activity. However benigh the conditions always consider that they may change quickly without warning.

Have a fabulous, but safe holiday wherever you decide to go. Bon voyage!

Acknowledgements to RLSS and RNLI

More useful links

RLSS Safety on holiday

Cold water shock – know the risks

More rip current safety information

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Andy Mills

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Officer Striving to reduce accidental drownings by 50% by 2024 by spreading key safety messages to Thanet communities and its visitors.